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babern38

Trip to New York - Food advice

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My family and I are going to new york in 4 weeks and I am in charge of planning meals. I have already made a few decisions, but would like your suggestions to fill in the missing spots. Comments on my current selections are also welcome. My parents and I will eat anything (while my parents don't really like sushi/rare Tuna) and my fiancee is a vegetarian (no meat, fish, or animal broths, but dairy is ok). We are staying at the Waldorf Astoria, so it would be nice to stay within a 15min cab ride radius.

Thursday:

We fly in Thursday evening and are planning to eat at a diner: Any suggestions? I've heard about Katz's, and have previously eaten at the Stage and New York Delis.

Friday:

Lunch: Tao - I'm sure there will be many comments on this choice, but I've always wanted to go here.

Dinner: Gramercy Tavern. Reservations already made for 6:00 :rolleyes:

Saturday:

Lunch: ? I was thinking about DB Bistro Moderne, but think this might be too much considering our dinner plans.

Dinner: Babbo - Reservations made for 5:30 - I started calling one month in advance right when they opened and still got busy signals for 30 min!! :laugh:

Sunday: I think we are flying out early that morning or early afternoon, so a nice, quick brunch rec would be nice.

Also, my fiancee and I would appreciate recommendations for a nice place to go in the evening for a drink or music. She really likes Jazz and I would like to take her to a jazz club. Any recommendations? All help is appreciated.

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Katz's is a great choice, but be aware - it's most likely out of your 15-minute cab ride radius, depending on traffic that night. Carnegie Deli is definitely within 15 minutes - really, within walking distance. (I do, however, prefer Katz's myself!)

Can't argue with Babbo or Gramercy Tavern - but with dinner at Babbo at 5:30, you may want to think about something lighter than DB for lunch that day. How about Aquavit? It's very close to the Waldorf (a lovely 7 block walk).

However, you may want to take advantage of your early dinner hour to enjoy a brunch or a large breakfast rather than a lunch. The neighborhood around the Waldorf is pretty corporate, so the "scene" there is quiet on the weekends. You could go for breakfast at Balthazar, down in SoHo (and go shopping afterward!).

Just as an aside, you may be able to get later dinner reservations through the concierge at the Waldorf - it's certainly worth asking!

Also, if you have time, you may want to check out the Pegu Clubfor an after- or before-dinner libation. People have been raving about it on this thread. I went for cocktails myself last Friday, and it was lovely - definitely on the list of places I'm taking my mom the next time she's here!


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Friday:

    Lunch:  Tao - I'm sure there will be many comments on this choice, but I've always wanted to go here.

Why? If you tell us why, we'll be better able to tell you whether the place will satisfy you (not I, as I've never been interested in going and haven't).

I don't think a vegetarian would be very happy at Katz's, by the way, though they do have very good cole slaw.

Why don't you go to someplace that has a real vegetarian menu, like Devi or, as a cheaper and less luxe option, Madras Cafe? Both probably more than 15 minutes away by cab, but who's counting? :rolleyes:

In terms of the jazz club, are you most interested in the music, the acoustics, the food, or the drinks? The Village Vanguard is a excellent room and has a great lineup of musicians, but you're not there for the drinks (I don't remember having food there). Birdland, on the other hand, which is another of the justly famous clubs in Manhattan, has decent acoustics and so forth but also very good desserts, perhaps on the level of a 2-star or so fine dining restaurant, and the drinks are better than at the Vanguard (I haven't yet had dinner there but have a feeling it would be good). In both cases, you are paying for the music and the classy ambiance above all. We had a recent thread in which the topic of jazz clubs came up, so you might want to look around this forum a little for previous threads, as I had more to say and put some links in that thread. Oh, I must be thinking of this one. (Scroll down as necessary.)

Here's a thread about jazz and blues clubs downtown

I also looked through the search results of a search for topics in the New York forum with the word "jazz" anyplace in the thread, and found this thread on "Blue Hill and Blue Note," in which I also suggested the following:

Consider going to the Iridium to hear Les Paul play at 8 or 10 P.M. any Monday.

I went to the Iridium's website and can confirm that Les Paul is still playing sets every Monday at 8 and 10. People who have been there within the past couple of years tell me that he doesn't play too many fast notes nowadays because his arthritis has worsened, but he is such a great musician that it's an unforgettable experience to hear him. He's a really funny comedian, too! The Iridium, again, is not about the food.

Here's another thread that's mostly about jazz clubs in Manhattan.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Thank you for the replies. I had looked at Devi and Madras Cafe, but my parents and fiancee aren't too fond of indian/thai cuisine. :sad:

Awhile ago I had seen pictures of Tao and was allured by the decor as well as the relatively vast menu. There were enough vegetable salads/dumplings/desserts that my fiancee would like.

We have a thing about fortune cookies (as her engagement ring was in a silver fortune cookie) and I would love to see their stuffed giant fortune cookie dessert. :smile:

Aquavit and Balthazar are two possibilites. Unfortunately our plane is leaving Sunday morning at 11 so a leisurely breakfast is probably out of the question, but i do appreciate the suggestions of a late breakfast before babbo.

I'm also guessing that with a 5:30 res at Babbo we would be done in time to catch a 10pm show at B.B. king's place if we decide to go there. Although that Pengu club looks tempting. Perhaps we could go there on friday night. How long should we plan for big tasting menu at Gramercy friday with 6pm reservations?

P.S. to answer the previous question. We would prefer to go to a jazz club more for the acoustics and atmospere. Dinner is not really desired for the jazz club, just drinks.


Edited by babern38 (log)

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How are you planning on getting to the airport? Via the shuttle bus from 41 St. and Park? Or will you take taxi(s)? Because what time you have to leave would tell us something about when and how fast you have to eat. I think that you'll have to be seated, ready to order around 8 o'clock and get out of there around 8:45 if you want to make sure to be at the airport at least an hour in advance of your flight. A lot of places aren't open yet at 8 on a Saturday morning, but I think that's what we need to look for, if you can handle that.

As for me, I'd get stuff at Katz's the night before, refrigerate it overnight, wake up a little later (or wake up early in order to be cheap and take public transportation) and then eat no breakfast and have a pastrami on rye, sour pickles, and cole slaw on the plane instead of whatever slop they were serving. But then I live a 10-minute walk from Katz's.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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If your fiancee has a sweet tooth, nice vegetarian options at NYC delis include cheese blintzes or cheesecake. (I've brought NYC deli cheesecake on the plane for the ride home before...)


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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My only thinking would be if you flew in early enough on Thursday night, maybe you could go to Babbo then.. Thus freeing up your saturday for a full day of eating and giving you a later dinner time.. It also would be easier to get a reservation on a Thursday I am thinking..

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My take on lunch options for your Saturday is that it depends on your plans before and after lunch. Which part of Manhattan do you plan to be in around that time?

The suggestion of Balthazar for brunch on Saturday is a great idea if you are planning to stroll and browse around in the Soho/Nolita/Village area. That would probably mean spending the whole day in that area, given your early Babbo reservations. Of course, if you do plan to do that, there are many options for brunch in the Soho/Nolita/Vlillage area. A favorite is Tartine in the West Village - no reservations taken, just join the line.

Or if you are in the Gramercy/Union Square Park area, Fleur de Sel is a nice small, intimate French restaurant on E 20th Street. Blue Water Grill is also a nice place to have brunch/lunch, right off Union Square Park.

On the other hand, if you plan to visit the art galleries in Chelsea, then the Wild Lily Tea Room on W 22nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues is a good option. A lovely, intimate room with a Japanese/Zen feel. You can sip tea, have a light meal, and feel refreshed in time for Babbo.

If you are in mid-town, then there is always your original choice DB Bistro Moderne, but within a 15 min walk from the Waldorf there's also Artisanal (all those cheeses!), the Modern at MOMA, Brasserie, Brasserie 8 1/2 and so on.

Happy dining!


Edited by Makan King (log)

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For Jazz, don't forget Dizzy's Club Coca Cola in the Time Warner Complex!


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

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Lots of great suggestions here! But can anyone recommend a good place near the theater district? My husband and I are going up Dec. 26 to see "Spamalot" and stay another day or two for leisurely dining, but will be looking for something pre-theater. I saw something online about Esca, Mario Batali's all-fish place - any thoughts?

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Lots of great suggestions here! But can anyone recommend a good place near the theater district? My husband and I are going up Dec. 26 to see "Spamalot" and stay another day or two for leisurely dining, but will be looking for something pre-theater. I saw something online about Esca, Mario Batali's all-fish place - any thoughts?

I haven't personally been to Esca, but have heard good things about it. DB Bistro is excellent pre-theater and probably post as well.

Nice score on the Spamalot tix :cool:


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Lots of great suggestions here! But can anyone recommend a good place near the theater district? My husband and I are going up Dec. 26 to see "Spamalot" and stay another day or two for leisurely dining, but will be looking for something pre-theater. I saw something online about Esca, Mario Batali's all-fish place - any thoughts?

I haven't personally been to Esca, but have heard good things about it. DB Bistro is excellent pre-theater and probably post as well.

Nice score on the Spamalot tix :cool:

I called the first week of June for anytime Dec. 26-28 and could only get the 26th, 2nd row balcony.

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Lots of great suggestions here! But can anyone recommend a good place near the theater district? My husband and I are going up Dec. 26 to see "Spamalot" and stay another day or two for leisurely dining, but will be looking for something pre-theater.

Have you looked through the Pre-Theater Dining thread? I'm sure you'll get some ideas in its six pages.

Enjoy yourself! :smile:


Michael aka "Pan

 

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I'm also guessing that with a 5:30 res at Babbo we would be done in time to catch a 10pm show at B.B. king's place if we decide to go there....

.... P.S. to answer the previous question.  We would prefer to go to a jazz club more for the acoustics and atmosphere.  Dinner is not really desired for the jazz club, just drinks.

Note on BB King's - the seating is first come first served and a line forms outside before the second show. There really isn't a "bad" seat in the house but I suggest trying to get there no later than 9:30 if you want to avoid being stuck in a back corner (although even there you can still see the stage fairly well and the sound is great). By any and all possible means - avoid the food at BB King's. You can get a drinkable coffee and an edible dessert if you choose that route to meet the $10 per person minimum purchase (but two drinks or two beers will also get you to the $10 mark easily if you imbibe). But the food in general sucks.

I concur with the previous comments on Birdland. By the way - neither the current Birdland or the Blue Note are the historic places folks often think they are - these are newer places using the old names. But Birdland has wonderful atmosphere, very good sound and also good line of sight to the stage.

If by chance Joe's Pub at the Public Theater has a jazz offering that weekend I highly recommend it as perhaps the most intimate music club setting in town and the acoustics are astoundingly good - possibly the best of any venue I've ever been to (other than the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy NY). But you're likely to end up standing at Joe's Pub unless you get there very early. Even then... for the more popular shows most of the seats at tables are already taken by folks with connections before the doors open to the general public.

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Lots of great suggestions here! But can anyone recommend a good place near the theater district? My husband and I are going up Dec. 26 to see "Spamalot" and stay another day or two for leisurely dining, but will be looking for something pre-theater.

Have you looked through the Pre-Theater Dining thread? I'm sure you'll get some ideas in its six pages.

Enjoy yourself! :smile:

Well, duh. Thanks! I'll look.

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Note on BB King's - the seating is first come first served and a line forms outside before the second show.[...]

Tickets can also be purchased in advance, which is highly recommended. I've been shut out of concerts there twice, and in the second case, because tickets sold out in advance. But the good thing is, Birdland is right near there and is unlikely to sell out, from what I've experienced so far.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Last time in town I had a nice Saturday brunch at Artisianal. It looks like cheese would satisfy everyone on your list. And you can go light or heavy there.


Bill Russell

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More on the jazz club front -- I'll stick in my 4 cents for Jazz Standard (27th St. just east of Park Ave) for having not only excellent jazz in a great room but having some extremely creditable bbq, either for snacking or for a full-on dinner, as it shares the kitchen with Danny Meyer's Blue Smoke. The bar has an excellent list of bourbons and some decent house cocktails, and a house beer brewed by esteemed Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver.

[edited to add this link, that I knew I'd find eventually]

Christopher


Edited by plattetude (log)

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If the vegetarians need some relief, I suggest Hangawi (Korean, Vegetarian)

12 E 32nd St (Btwn 5th & Madison Ave)

Phone: 212-213-0077

Fax: 212-689-0780

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I was wondering if anyone has been to The Cupping Room. I found this on the net and thought it might be a nice, little laid back place for a late breakfast on saturday. Any thoughts?

I was also wondering about people's opinion of doing breakfast at Town.

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